May 23, 2022 By Christian Murray
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released a list of nine candidates she is endorsing for state assembly—with one candidate from Queens.
Juan Ardila, who is running to represent the 37th Assembly District that covers western Queens, has got the backing of Ocasio-Cortez—as part of a group of candidates that make up the New York Working Families Party’s “We Can’t Wait” slate.
The slate includes Ardila as well as two candidates from Brooklyn, two from the Bronx, one from upper Manhattan, and three candidates in races north of New York City.
These State Assembly candidates are renters, teachers & parents challenging real-estate-bought politicians who have blocked housing & healthcare for all
— Team AOC (@TeamAOC) May 23, 2022
“With skyrocketing rent and rising costs, it’s harder than ever to make ends meet in New York. The nine candidates of New York Working Families Party’s “We Can’t Wait” Assembly slate are parents, teachers, and tenants who know what it’s like to worry about medical bills, eviction, and student debt,” said Ocasio-Cortez in a statement. “Right now, we need leaders at all levels of government laser-focused on delivering for working families.”
Ardila said that he was honored to get Ocasio-Cortez’ endorsement.
“It’s exciting,” Ardila said. “It’s a coveted endorsement, one that you want to have in western queens. “
Ardila said that he is the only true progressive in the race, saying that his three competitors—Brent O’Leary, Jim Magee and Johanna Carmona are more centrist Democrats. The four are vying for the seat that is being vacated by Cathy Nolan at the end of the year.
Ardila said he has a more progressive view when it comes to criminal and social justice than his competitors, arguing that they are more focused on law and order and tightening bail reform laws.
“When, I think about criminal justice I think about the Breonna Taylor’s, George Floyd, the Central Park Five and all the injustices in the world,” Ardila said
He said he wants to address the root causes of crime and is an advocate for investing in mental health services, addressing homelessness, expanding anti-gun violence programs, etc.
Ardila said that his message is resonating with voters—both progressive and moderates.
For instance, he said he has been endorsed by progressives to moderates–whether it be elected officials or unions.
To date, he has been endorsed by Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, State Sen. Jessica Ramos, Assemblymember Catalina Cruz as well as Councilmembers Tiffany Cabán and Shekar Krishnan. He has been endorsed by several unions including DC37 and 1199SEIU.